Wednesday, 19 December 2012

It is beginning to look a lot like (a crafty) Christmas...

I can't believe Christmas is only a week away - where have the last few weeks gone?

I have spent a large amount of it feeling ill - I have managed to catch the dreaded cold lergy that has been going round, needless to say I can barely breathe, have sinus pain, headaches and a sore throat. I am not much fun to be around!

Although, this month I have managed to get my 'craft' on, and have created some home-made festive goodies with a cash-strapped-but-isn't-everything-nicer-when-it-is-home-made sort of ethos.

My first stop on my home-made Christmas surge was some gingerbread cupcakes. These were for a crafty evening I went to at a friend's house. I used a recipe I found HERE. And I have to say, although the cakes were really tasty, and had a light 'Christmas spice' sort of flavour, I didn't really get a full gingerbread hit. I think next time I'll add a bit more of each of the required spices, and if you fancy trying the recipe I suggest you do the same. I didn't use the frosting recommended here, instead I opted for home-made lemon buttercream which is also meant to go well with gingerbread (it did!). I coloured the icing red and green and added some fondant gingerbread man shapes I cut out of coloured ready-roll.

I painted a friend's nails with a bit of festive mix 'n' match design. I used my white and black nail art pens for the details. Snowman, candy cane, holly, fair isle, and snow flake where my chosen themes. And before someone mentions it, yes, I applied my topcoat too soon and smudged some of the designs...oops.

Gift bows
The same friend who the nails above belong to, showed me how to make gift bows from any sort of paper (a crafty trade off, if you will). This is something I have never done before - but I was surprised how easy the process was - and love how you can turn any old paper into something useful. After I made a few at our crafting afternoon I Googled a 'how-to' to remind myself of the necessary measurements for the paper strips used and I found a tutorial HERE. Although you can use magazine paper, or any type of paper, I wanted a more retro feel so I went to a local charity shop and picked up an old Garfield comic and a Bunty from the early 80s. It total my paper sourced cost me £1.25, and I love how these turned out!

I have very luckily inherited my Nan's old Singer sewing machine. Once manual, this amazing piece of machinery was converted to electric some twenty-something years ago. My mum is a dab-hand at this sort of stuff, but I had never used a sewing machine before, so I wanted to start off with an easy project. James & I decided to buy each other 'stocking presents' this year, so I thought making us Christmas stockings would be perfect. I used a some instructions I found on Design Sponge HERE, to get me started. I had a sewing-pro friend help me figure out exactly how to use my machine, and we adapted the design, as my stockings have a turn-over top, and no lining. For my first go, I think I did an okay stop clothing, ha!

Anyone else been getting crafty this Christmas? What have you made - I'd love to see? Have you come across any other good tutorials of seasonal things I can try to make?

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